From Hobby to Money Making Blog : Story of My First Blog

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MONEY OUT OF THIN AIR?

A certain awesome Money Making Blog has tons of traffic every month, makes $999999, and has a team of X-Men, Superman, Batman and Ninja Turtles behind. It’s so easy, any average guy can do the same.

Darn marketing plots.

This is not one of those “success stories” that paint a rosy picture to hook you into buying a “miracle blog builder”. Marketers will often only show you the “good side”, and paint things “easy like 1-2-3”.

But as a semi-decent human being, and very stupid marketer – I present to you the reality of a blog that is 10 months old and started from scratch. The brutally honest story of my hobby blog.

Don’t get me wrong though.

I am not saying it is impossible to make money from blogs. I am just raising awareness that things are not as rosy as what rotten marketers claim it to be.

It is still within the reach of any average person who is willing to put in the effort – you need to have a lot of patience, spend time learning new skills, and build your blog from ground zero.

So hooray, you can create a money making blog.

If you are prepared to swallow the red pill, here we go – I shall share the story of how I turned an empty shell into a money maker, and some important things that I have learnt.

Please use this as a case study to create a much better blog, and start making a lot more money than I do.

SO… HOW MUCH DID I MAKE?

Yes, you practical bunch of people. I know that question very well, and here’s a screenshot of how much I made.

Oh sorry, wrong screenshot. I use that to cheat people, and sell my miracle blog builder. Here is the reality.

Not fake news, happy?

Yep, that is not a lot of money, but that is still good money to have. Plus, more paychecks are still rolling in, and I am making money even when I sleep. How cool is that?

MY JOURNEY INTO MAKING MONEY ONLINE

Let us now get into the main story. First off, let me establish where I started from.

I quit my job as a senior web developer in November 2015, which I found to be a “dead end” job. Long stressful working hours started to take a toll on my health, and with no room for work-life balance – I literally had to leave to heal myself.

While many “normal people” will start thinking “get another job with better pay and work-life balance”, I thought otherwise.

Sorry for being an abnormal person.

I did not want to return to the rat race, nor the traditional path of “work from 9 to 6 until 96”. Being exposed to many million dollar online systems, I know very well that making millions online is a reality.

Problem is, what to sell? Which industry do I want to go into? Where do I even start from!?

Things were pretty much back to school for me. While I am an expert in projects and technical stuff, I lacked the business juice. I started a lot of reading, searching online, and stumbled on something called “the new rich” in Tim Ferris’ 4-Hour work week.

The new rich are basically a breed of financially free people, who may not really earn a lot. But they do have a lot of passive income. So much that they can live freely without worries, taking permanent vacations, and work whenever they feel like it.

Sounds like a plan to me, and so I began this new quest of mine to find my own freedom.

Sometime in Feb 2016, I chanced upon a local Internet Marketing program called Easypreneur (my review here). Heard that the mentor has a pretty decent history, and I jumped on the chance.

GREED OR PURPOSE?

As I dived deeper into the entrepreneurship sphere, I realized how much I am missing. Nope, I am not talking about the education part, been learning all my life and there’s no stress in that.

What I missed out, was the mindset.

We, the “normal people” have been programmed to study hard, work hard, and in the end, hard to retire. That is not the case with the rich – To reach their goals, they don’t work hard. They work smart. Plus, they are either very greedy or serve a purpose.

I started to learn that greed is possibly just the start, and a very fatal mistake.

Think about it if you have been scammed online, or think about the people who have been scammed. What drove them to believe the cock-and-bull promises? Greed, the promise of a million dollars overnight.

So I picked up a new personal creed – Drop the greed, pick up a purpose instead. Greed will work against you, don’t let people use your greed.

Purpose is a stronger and better drive than greed.

It is easy to find a purpose once you put some thoughts into it – I want to settle down, provide for my family. I want to help my friends, I want them and their family to go on tour with me. Help more people live their lives to the fullest, and give back to mother Earth.

THE DAWN

Thus, my first grand plan for making money online is to sell Easypreneur itself, since I knew nothing else to sell.

I got my feet wet, created a rather stupid looking landing page, and spent $50 to drive some paid traffic to the landing page. Surprisingly, I got back $10 from affiliate sales. Meh. 😐

As things turns out, Easypreneur is not too easy.

Nope. I told myself. Not the correct way, or I did things wrong. Obviously not very profitable, but I did learn some useful raw basics.

As long as a customer buys your product, you will make money. That has been true since trade is invented on day 1, true even today for online sales. You only need to figure out :

  • What to sell.
  • Where to find customers.
  • How to bring the right customers to the product.
  • How to convince the customers.

So back to searching and thinking again.

It wasn’t long before I somehow stumbled on an online program called “Wealthy Affiliate” (my review here). Talk about the law of attraction… I am a believer now.

Normally, I would have thrown online programs out of the window fast. But since it’s free to join, and no credit card is required. I thought, why not?

That turns out to be one of the better decisions of my life.

LONG TERM VALUE, NOT SPAM

The wealth of knowledge inside Wealthy Affiliate taught differently from Easypreneur.

Easypreneur teaches aggressive sales tactics. Write a long sales pitch, and keep selling more things when the customers signs up… until the customer burns out or bails out.

Wealthy Affiliate promotes “upfront value” and “long term value” instead. Help people, give them a lot of good information, and eventually, they will help you back.

Being on the “losing end” of the marketing game for a long time, the values that Wealthy Affiliate taught made more sense.

It is not about “stepping on top” of someone else, but to help each other. Marketing is not always about someone “losing out”, and we should be working towards a “win-win” situation.

HURDLE 1) CONTENT WRITING HELL

Armed with my new found powers, I finally decided to start on a brand new photography blog… Since I have been doing photography as a hobby for a decade, and probably have endless things to talk about it.

The setup? It was a breeze. Remember the part where I am a web developer? I eat technical for breakfast, coding for lunch, and project management for dinner. For once, I am thankful of my own profession… and it felt satisfying to work for myself.

But immediately after setup, I went into a struggle with content writing.

Content writing is easy right? Just slap in a few words, put in some random memes, throw in ninja turtles, and you will have an award winning article.

Wrong.

Writing a boring article is easy. Writing a long article that is crazy, useful and relevant at the same time is an art. You can have a taste of it here :

Ninja Tips for Writing SEO Friendly Content That Rock

Also, if you are interested in some of the good books that I have read, here they are.

Warning : affiliate links below. You can read my disclosure message if you want to…

HURDLE 2) HOW TO FEED THE CONTENT MONSTER

Writing one article is not the end of it. Obviously.

Once you have a blog, there will always be a beast that is hungry for more content.

Thus, from one writing problem, came the content strategy headache. Thankfully, this headache did not last long.

A little research turns out many “gurus” that preached “blog daily or weekly”. But among the sea of “gurus”, only one preached “one post to rule them all”, and I respect that guy deeply.

The SEO grand master opened my chakra and third eye to the ultimate truth – You will only burn yourself trying to squeeze things out on a regular basis. Plus, the post frequency does not really matter.

Not in the eyes of Search Engine Optimization (trying to rank the article on the first page of Google and Bing).

Content strategy? Quality over quantity. A single solid post is worth a hundred “spray and pray” random posts.

HURDLE 3) MONEY DOES NOT GROW ON TREES

Blog – ready.

Post – ready.

But the most important part is missing. Where is the money going to come from!?

They sure don’t rain down from the sky, nor grow on trees. I wish they did, but somehow that is still not happening.

As a beginner, I learnt that money comes in many forms, and the most common being :

  • Affiliate sales – sell something for someone, earn some commission.
  • Advertising network – let people put up ads on your blog in exchange for some cash.
  • Sponsorship – a certain company support your blog.
  • Donation – ask help from some kind souls.

Sadly, not many people in this world will want to work with nor sponsor a noob blog. For the first 3 months, my hobby blog is practically empty without income. It was only after 6 months that I got approved as an eBay partner, Adobe partner, and accepted into the Google Adsense program.

HURDLE 4) WHERE ART THOU TRAFFIC? LEARNING TO BE THICK SKIN.

When you think that you have conquered everything, there’s more.

If you create a blog, nobody will visit it. So says my mentor, and that is the absolute truth.

Among a few million blogs online, if you do nothing, nothing is going to happen. You can either pray hard for a miracle to happen, or make things work yourself.

Getting people to visit your site, is yet another ninja skill to learn. Among many of the methods, it includes :

  • Good old school, word of mouth method. Screaming “I haz blog, pleaze visit” in the middle of the neighborhood.
  • Posting everywhere on social media – Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Digg, Diigo, Delicious, Reddit, Stumble Upon.
  • Sharing in a lot of social groups and forums.
  • Getting banned for spamming.

Yeah, shy guys will probably have a hard time starting on these. But soon realize that you can just create fake profiles of pretty girls.

FAST FORWARD : AFTER 10 MONTHS

Thus after working on a blog from scratch for 10 months, I finally see some light at the end of the tunnel.

Guess what?

When you do things right, Google will start to notice your awesome content.

A few of my guides and articles ranked on the top 5 search results, and that brought about crazy traffic growths of 300% in just 3 months.

Insane, and that is still growing.

Currently, at the time of writing, I am making about US $1 a day. Not a lot, but I know for sure that as I continue to work on it, this is going to become a full time income some day.

CONCLUSION AND THE FUTURE

So if you are already doing better than I am, feel free to laugh at my petty pocket money. I don’t think I am doing that great either. But hey, I have succeeded in making money online, even passively while I sleep.

For those who are thinking that I trolled you with some petty money and a very long article, this is the next step of the plan.

  • As the blog continue to mature and grow, it will get more traffic and generate more revenue.
  • It may even attract some sponsors.
  • I will continue to branch out into YouTube, and here I am starting yet another blog.
  • The combined income stack should start to shape up into something more substantial.

So there you go, it is possible to make money online.

Yes, but it requires time, effort and patience. Once you know how, you will always know how to fish.

For those of you who are still “floating around”, I can only advice to stop looking at “million dollars overnight”. The only way you can achieve that, is probably to scam people with overpriced useless products.

Greed or purpose?

You decide. I have been scammed, and I hate to put other people into the same shit hole.

Hope this report has been a good case study, and given you some ideas on where to start.

Don’t give up, and stay positive!

THE MIRACLE MONEY MAKING BLOG BUILDER

This is the miracle program that has taught me how to make money online – THE LEGIT WAY.

If you are interested to try it out, just click on the banner above. It is completely free to join, and no credit card is required.

Although I am sorry to inform you that it is a totally legit program, and it does not contain the secret to a million dollars overnight.

Seriously, just check it out. Nothing to lose.


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